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Volume 27, Number 6—June 2021

Epidemiologic Evidence for Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during Church Singing, Australia, 2020

Anthea L. KatelarisComments to Author , Jessica Wells, Penelope Clark, Sophie Norton, Rebecca Rockett, Alicia Arnott, Vitali Sintchenko, Stephen Corbett, and Shopna K. Bag
Author affiliations: Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (A. Katelaris, J. Wells, P. Clark, S. Norton, S. Corbett, S.K. Bag); The University of Sydney, Sydney (S. Norton, R. Rockett, A. Arnott, V. Sintchenko, S Corbett, S.K. Bag); New South Wales Health Pathology, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia (R. Rockett, A. Arnott, V. Sintchenko)

Main Article


Number of SARS-CoV-2 close contacts and case-patients in an outbreak in a church, by service date, Australia, 2020*

Date of service, July No. contacts† No. tested‡ Proportion tested, % No. cases Secondary attack rate, %
15 215 169 79 5 2.3
16 120 108 90 5.8
17 (2 services)
Total 508 434 85 12 2.4

*SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; NC, not calculated.
†Contacts identified through church service sign-in records and staff lists. This procedure might slightly underestimate the number of contacts because some persons might not have signed in and some telephone numbers were illegible or invalid. 
‡Contacts were tested within 17 d (14-d incubation period plus 3 d) of the last exposure date. Pathology providers in New South Wales, Australia, routinely report SARS-CoV-2 test results (positive or negative) to public health authorities. This number would not include tests performed under a different name or spelling to that on the sign-in records.
§One case-patient attended 2 services on July 16 and 17. Because of the absence of additional case-patients on July 17, we have attributed exposure of this case-patient to have been on July 16.

Main Article

Page created: March 29, 2021
Page updated: May 18, 2021
Page reviewed: May 18, 2021
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